The Happiest Place On Earth: Disney Outsources More Jobs To Foreign Workers While Asking Existing Workers To Donate Part Of Their Wages To Support Lobbyists

There was a gut-wrenching moment in the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration this week as Leo Perrero, former Disney IT worker, broke down in tears as he recounted how the company fired him and his colleagues despite record profits so that the company could give their jobs to cheaper foreign workers. The video is below. The company then ordered them to train their replacements or lose their severance pay. At the same time, Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a letter to the remaining company’s employees, asking for them to donate money to support the company’s lobbyists in Disney’s political action committee, DisneyPAC. Disney has been at the forefront in securing draconian copyright laws and protections from Congress.

Perrero testified that

“During the holiday season of 2014, I was sent a meeting invitation by a prominent Disney executive. With an excellent review in hand along with company announcements of record profits my mind buzzed with thoughts of a promotion or a bonus . . . I walked into a small conference room with about two dozen highly respected fellow IT workers. The Disney executive made a harsh announcement to us all. . . . our jobs have been given over to a foreign workforce . . . In the meantime you will be training your replacements until your jobs are 100 percent transferred over to them and if you don’t cooperate you will not receive any severance pay. . . . The final period of the 90 days was the most disgraceful and demoralizing, as we had to watch the foreign workers completely take over our jobs. And we came to grips that the upcoming Disney jobs promise didn’t exist. Then finally on January 31st of 2015 we were forced to turn in our company badges, laptops and then ushered out the door.”

Perrier broke down as he recounted his experience and how only four of his colleagues were given jobs elsewhere in the company.

For those remaining, they received the letter from Iger who, despite record profits, hit up employees to support the company lobbyists. The 1998 copyright extension has even been dubbed the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” because of Disney’s insatiable demand for added penalties and powers in preventing others from using words, images, and products deemed company property. Iger heralded the success of its army of lobbyists and lawyers in copyright victories. He added “In the coming year, we expect Congress and the Administration to be active on copyright regime issues, efforts to enact legislation to approve and implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, tax reform, and more proposals to weaken retransmission consent, to name a few.” He is probably right about his predictions of success judging from prior years.

59 thoughts on “The Happiest Place On Earth: Disney Outsources More Jobs To Foreign Workers While Asking Existing Workers To Donate Part Of Their Wages To Support Lobbyists”

  1. I was hoping that this comment section wasn’t closed down. In my above comment I decried the lazy managers who seek profits by focusing on cutting costs even at the expense of compromising their brand.

    Remember the recent alligator attack where parents lost a toddler because they were too close to the waters edge.They were not swimming and no, non Floridians do not automatically know that there could be alligators ready to pounce on a child. They were relying on the Walt Disney brand of a family friendly vacation. They were staying at Disney’s premier resort, the Grand Floridian.

    Guess what? It turns out that there were Disney firemen employees who were recently officially warned against feeding alligators. Yet those same alligators were not removed. Instead of cutting a few more dollars, the company needs to be more proactive to avoid these events. Of course, I am sure that the parents did not have to sue. The publicity would have been devastating.This was a no brainer. Of course, Walt Disney somehow settled.

    Oh yes, Disney is increasing their entry fees. WD would definitely not approve this action. His purpose for creating Walt Disney was to construct a place where the average family could afford to have a vacation. What is happening to his dream?

  2. Move Disneyworld to China. Then hordes of Americans can go to see the “Wonderful World of America,” an historical extravaganza.

    “1950’s” is the first stop. Here, happy white people live in suburban developments, watching black and white TV while eating ham roasts, tomato aspic, and mile-high vanilla-frosted cakes. Women smile adoringly at their husbands, and scrubbed children re-enact an authentic high school sock-hop.

    Next stop? “The Sixties Generation,” where well-behaved black people smile as they are arrested for sitting in at lunch counters. In the next number, hippies smoke “happy tobacco” and sing “Peace and Love Are Realized in Happy Mao Thought.” The decade ends with the stage extravaganza: “Out of Chaos, Weak Reforms Come,” and “The Great Revolution Promises Peaceful Co-existence and Future Cheap Labor.”

    “America 1970’s” brings “The Wondrous Reconciliation, or the Heroic Leap Forward Of Chairman Mao and President Nixon,” in which Chinese performers intermingle with American families, offering them gadgets, cheap clothing, and lead paint-coated toys for children.

    “Mr. Reagan Defeats The Soviet Deviation” is the formal Title of “America 1980’s,” while moving to the 1990’s segment of the park introduces visitors to “Dot Com Happy Family Times.”

    Twentieth century America is brought to a close with the hilarious “We Can Make Anything You Can Make Cheaper,” the moving, “I Jumped to My Death from the Fifth Floor of Factory Compound #114 Because Americans Must Be Pleased with Revolutionary Workers’ Production” and finally the stirring anthem, “Let Our Joyful Workers Make All Your Flimsy Things.”

    In “America of the 21st Century,” Chinese performers entirely replace contract-employed American dancers, singers, and choreographers, belting out “We’ll Buy Your Debt for A Song” and “We Know Chinese Is Hard to Learn, But Computer Code Is the Universal Language.”

    A final meal of the day is served: vat-grown tilapia and “Not-So-Toxic Rice.” Then as night falls, a glorious firework display begins, entitled, “America Drops Beautiful and Pointless Bombs while the Party Leaders Wisely Buy Much North American Real Estate.”

  3. Disney is so over rated. I went in like 2005 for the last time. They wanted our “finger prints” then who knows what biometrics they want now. We went to a central office and had to beg not to be fingerprinted. Which they did honor. But still all china had to do was swipe disney “military” discount ppl…from disney who took photo copies of mil ids for the ticket. Then they had milt id And military finger prints. Thanx to opm’s lax security china now has mil ids down to finger prints. If disney was ever compromised. Given IT. Was canned d
    For foreigners…….this is a national security not just immigration issue…..yet what standard can our usg hold disney to given opm….that’s why you take security mano v mano….into your own hands….because the dod never bauked at militarty rates at disney….even tho it didn’t take a rocket scientist to pre-figure out the biometric risk…..but they need an excuse for a implant. …..or our security is mikey mouse.

  4. L’Observer,
    “There is no ‘tempering’ the Texas platform”

    That is an unfortunate stance. Assuming they are intractable is unfair, and, only reinforces the partisanship our country is mired in. Finding small areas of agreement would help bridge that divide. I do not have to agree with the platform to take their concerns seriously, even if I disagree with many of them. Serious and fruitful discussions can take place, something our country sorely needs. If they find I agree with them on A, then they are more likely to listen to my arguments on issue B.

  5. Philly,
    Thanks for the link.

    You might support them more than you think. Check out page 5. They want to repeal the Patriot Act, abolish the NDAA (that allows the indefinite detention of Americans), and repeal the War Powers Act.

    There are definitely things I disagree with, but at least there are topics that are a bridge to agreement. On the issues with which I disagree, I would like to understand their reasons. Perhaps a friendly debate would temper their stance.

  6. Prairie Rose,
    I take your point. As I said, I know that it’s not all Red and Blue.

    The TX platform is an interesting mix of advocating for the people (supports the labeling of GMOs), and pure poppycock, like supporting so-called reparative therapies for homosexuals, and believing in “The laws of nature and nature’s God” as our Founding Fathers believed”
    Very enlightening. Here’s their whole platform. Can’t wait to see what they come up with this year:

  7. Philly,
    Republicans are not 100% in corporate pockets.

    12 Republicans in the House voted against the HR1599 that Karen noted would interfere with people knowing which foods contain GMOs.

    44 Democrats voted in favor of that bill.

    Also, the Texas Republican party supports the labeling of GMOs.

    So, while I agree with you that most Republicans are bought, not all are.

  8. L’Observer,
    I agree. Mostly. Then we have had some really bought-n-sold Dems like Mark Pryor, Ben Nelson, Max Baucus, who are so close to being Republicans they might as well be. And I lost any respect for Pelosi when she went skeevy on the stock act. So while Republicans are 100% in the pockets of the corporate military industrial complex, there are some crappy Democrats as well.

  9. Philly

    Best to keep the focus on Congress for our labeling woes. People like Karen need to understand where these bills are originating – and it is NOT in this White House.

    HR 1599 was sponsored by a Republican (Kansas) and passed by the Republicans in the House. Twelve Republicans voted against this bill. 138 Democrats voted to defeat the bill.

    Keep the pressure – and the information – where it belongs – on Republicans.

  10. Just keep on hoping the ‘free market’ will shut down the bad guys. Sure. Just like the ‘free market’ has shut down Chiquita bananas that Karen keeps warning us about.

    Now let us all pay attention while we see how the ‘free market’ deals with antibiotics in our livestock.

  11. Karen,
    I have heard those stories and others. To make matters worse, Congress had made it nearly impossible to know where some of our food comes from, unless we stick to buying local and knowing our growers. The processing of factory farm chicken in China is now a reality and they don’t have to inform consumers. The so-called Dark Act, or as ironically named by its sponsors: H.R.1599 – Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, will eliminate most GMO labeling and remove several other consumer safety laws. Hopefully the senate will kill or block it, or that the president will ultimately not sign it. I have my doubts though, since he has a handful of Monsanto people working for him.

  12. A boycott of Disney is actually pretty easy, and practical. That is because a trip to Disney World is a LUXURY, not a necessity. Cell phones, and food, and clothes are less a luxury, and more of a necessity. As Karen S and Bams discussed, boycotting those type companies might be more difficult, because there are few alternatives, and the competition is probably as bad as they are.

    But, DISNEY, heck there are all kinds of places to go and have fun, and probably a whole lot cheaper. Like Six Flags, or a museum, or a camping trip, or a trip to the beach, or the mountains, or Yellowstone, or even a cruise to the Bahamas or Jamaica where you can pay foreigners directly.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – your national parks are filed with H1-B workers. This used to be the ideal summer job for high school and college kids, now it belongs to foreigners.

  13. PhillyT:

    One of the reasons why I buy organic is that I viewed a banana packing facility in the Caribbean. The workers were covered in fungal infections because they sprayed the bananas with anti-fungal spray. Just like the overuse of antibiotics, that led to the rise of super fungus, which attacked their skin. My relative was also involved in helping native people in South America many years ago who were suffering birth defects and cancer because American companies exported production there once some nasty pesticides were banned. Then they sold that broccoli back to American markets.

    Shining the light of public scrutiny does certainly help some companies “remember” their conscience, because the free market reacts to such information.

    Jim22: You are right that you need to have foresight and be adaptive when choosing or changing careers. My concern is that with the 30% payout caused by Obamacare, and rising malpractice insurance premiums, doctors are now recommending to their own kids that they not pursue medicine. STEM jobs are heavily outsourced overseas. Even many jobs in the pharmaceutical industry are being outsourced, including manufacturing (yuck!) There are some alternatives, like you mentioned the cement plant or civil engineering. But are there going to be enough niches for skilled, educated workers? And is there going to continue to be a path to success for those starting at entry level? I hope so. Our government is certainly not helping with this silly class warfare nonsense, as well as throwing up as many roadblocks to employers as possible. Regulation should be reasonable, and protect the public interest. But there are some bureaucrats that never saw a regulation or tax hike they didn’t like.

  14. Karen,
    You are mostly right about companies going for cheap labor, but that comes with a price as well. Most of them won’t care about the exposure, or the necessity of bribing local officials, or having to pay off the army, or hire private security, or the scandals of being exposed for child slavery, chemical spills, toxic waste disposal, and a hundred other despicable things corporations do. But maybe a few will. We should stop making it easy for them and start yanking corporate charters putting some of these criminals in jail.

  15. Karen S

    I don’t know, with any degree of certainty, that these, particular, imported workers will, in fact, be sent back to their home countries to continue to work for Disney, but that’s what I suspect will, eventually, occur. I mentioned that because importing these workers is a predictable and obvious step in the process of completely outsourcing these departments, where costs and expenses pale in comparison to those in the US. In my opinion, the initial step of importing workers is simply that–the first, in a series steps, to move these jobs, permanently, overseas, using the formerly imported workers to train and supervise others once they return home. Any attempt to tout the possible benefits of importing foreign workers–cultural diversity in the workforce, a chance to earn a better income, etc.–misses the obvious endgame. These employers don’t care about those frivolous matters. These workers will, undoubtedly, be used to head up the overseas departments of these employers, where these individuals will be paid a fraction of what they would receive in the US.

  16. News flash, anyone who has a job that requires them to sit in front of a computer is in jeopardy of losing their job to someone somewhere around the world. The software is getting easier to use in most feilds and requires less “skill” and companies know this. This includes mechanical engineering, x-ray reading, graphic arts and as we already mentioned tech support. Get used to it folks because this is they way the market is headed. I left a ME position because I could see this coming. I work now as an engineer in a cement plant since it needs to be made here. As prices of oil go up and Chinese salaries increase manufacturing will come back to the U.S. Again, you either react to the way things are changing or you suffer the consequences. I tell kids who are interested in engineering to stick with civil engineering since again, it is harder to export.

    One of my best friends years ago, lost his graphic art job when the company he worked for went under. He looked for another graphic arts job but companies didn’t value his skills. So he said screw it, and went to the local community college and got a nursing degree. He told me, they always need nurses. He got hired right away locally and is now an RN doing great. And, he did this while being married with two kids. So it can be done, you just can’t be one of the lazy societal sponges that the libs want you to be.

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